Shaw Streets

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Shaw business woman Wanda Henderson receives the President Joe R. Biden Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo courtesy of Wanda Henderson

Shaw Small Business Saturday/ Tree Lighting November 25

Shaw will mark the beginning of the holiday season November 25 with Shaw Small Business Saturday, the neighborhood’s version of the national Small Business Saturday push to Shop Small and give prominence to local small businesses during the shopping season. This year, Shaw Main Streets will offer again the ever-popular Shawbucks, five-dollar denominated coupons that can be used at participating neighborhood businesses that day.

The Shawbucks seemed to do the trick to inspire purchases right after Thanksgiving, with businesses reporting sales to hundreds of Shawbuck-bearing customers in previous years. The $5,000 worth of Shawbucks will be distributed at a Shaw Main Streets tent on Eighth Street at City Market at O, starting at 12:00 p.m., while supplies last. Free hot apple cider, holiday cookies, candy and recyclable shopping bags will also be given away.

Roadside Development will start the holiday season this year by closing down Jeff Coudriet Way on Saturday afternoon to make City Market at O the center of the neighborhood’s celebration. Expect to again see a miniature holiday train moving around the complex, while a variety of live bands play.

A number of food trucks will also offer delights to festival attendees and there are plans to include holiday skating to the mix of activities. The celebration will close with a holiday tree lighting at sunset.

American Chemistry Council Moving to Shaw

The American Chemistry Council, which represents 190 companies in the chemical industry, is moving its headquarters from the Union Station area to Shaw. The Council will take up 756,000 square feet of the office building at 655 New York Avenue NW, the largest new lease executed in the District this quarter.

Besides enhancing the Council’s mission to advocate for the important role chemistry plays in transforming how people live, work and play, the move will allow its staff to take advantage of Shaw’s vibrant commercial and retail activity.

Shaw Business Owner Wanda Henderson Get Presidential Award

Wanda Henderson, the proprietor of the Wanda’s on 7th Salon and Spa at 1851 Seventh Street NW, has received President Joseph R. Biden’s Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Services. The award ceremony was held on October 28. Henderson was nominated for the award by the Global Empowerment Foundation, based on her devoting over 4,000 hours of volunteer service to the community.

In other hair salon news, the District Hair Lounge on O Street celebrated its first anniversary in Shaw recently. For the past year, owner Jasmine Washington has offered “elevated wellness” to the community, as well as classes for those that want to improve their aesthetic skills.

Elias Taddesse Opens Burger Popup

Elias Taddesse, celebrated chef of Shaw’s Doro Soul Food, has opened a popup inside of his ghost kitchen. The popup, Melange Burger, is limited to the production of hamburgers, three made of beef (Le Royale, The Oklahoma Onion, The McDowell) and a veggie burger with a mushroom patty (The New Shroom). The vibe is basically American, although the sandwiches benefit from Taddesse’s multi-continental experience as a chef. The buns are French milk bread, baked in-house. You can pick up the burgers at the same location as Doro Soul Food, 1819 Seventh Street NW.

Carter G Woodson Home Renovation Progresses. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Renovation of Carter G. Woodson Home Progresses

The restoration of the Carter G. Woodson Home by the US National Park Service is nearing completion. The latest milestone was the installation of a replica of the sign that hung on the front of the building during Woodson’s life, announcing to the neighborhood that it was the headquarters of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, as well as the office for the group’s Associated Publishers company. Installation of the replica sign was first suggested by Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro, who urged the NPS to commemorate Woodson’s entrepreneurial spirit, in addition to his scholarship. Completion of the Carter G. Woodson National Historic Site at 1538-42 Ninth Street NW, including the inaugural tours of the house, is expected before the end of 2023.

Ninth & U: Pizza Paradise?

Shaw’s pizza game grew in 2023, with two new pizza restaurants, and the expansion of another. Andy’s Pizza moved a block from its original Shaw digs on the 2000 block of Ninth Street to a larger space formerly occupied by Hazel restaurant, at 808 V Street NW. Newcomers Minya’s Pizza (1932 Ninth Street NW) and Jojo’s Pizza (805 U Street NW) offer their own takes on the Italian specialty, with Minya’s emphasizing their house-made sauces and Jojo’s touting its brick oven. With Pizza D’oro, Emmy Squared, Motown Square, Sliced and Brewed and Kouzina Angelina’s, the new threesome brings the Ninth and U pizza parlor count to eight. Add All Purpose Shaw, Sbarro at the Convention Center and Whole Foods you have more pizza options than days in the week. That doesn’t even include other places that offer pizza, including Seylou Bakery and Mill and RPM Italian. Pizza, anyone?

New Places to Eat, Drink and be Merry

Following the loss of nearly 40 Shaw businesses during and following the Covid-19 pandemic, many of them food and beverage businesses, 2023 has seen a number of entertainment and dining venues open, with more on the way in 2024.

One of the biggest openings was The Atlantis (2047 Ninth Street NW), a recreation of the original 9:30 Club’s birthplace on F Street NW. The new 450-person club, a more intimate venue than the next door 9:30 Club, opened with a concert by DMV-favorites The Goo Goo Dolls. There’s even a statue of Goo Goos frontman Dave Grohl inside, along with other bits of nostalgia.

The most anticipated 2023 restaurant opening was Ambar Shaw, the third outpost of the DMV’s Balkan restaurant chain. Occupying a prominent, long-languishing corner at 1547 Seventh Street NW, the restaurant is best known for its all-you-can-eat brunches, with AYCE now available at lunch and dinner, too. The second floor is dedicated to a rakia bar, celebrating that fruit brandy.  Brunch reservations are a must.

Jasmine Washington, proprietor of District Hair Lounge, celebrates her first year in Shaw. Photo courtesy of District Hair Lounge

Other new dining options include the G.O.A.T. Room (Indian, 101 Massachusetts Avenue NW), Sham Shawarma (Middle Eastern, 1620 Seventh Street NW), Spicy Water African Grill (2019 11th Street NW) and Earth Grocery (Middle Eastern and Ethiopian, 1701 Sixth Street NW). And coming soon: Baan Mae, from the chef/owner of Thip Kao, replacing Hanuman (Laotian, 1604 Seventh Street NW) and opening in December, and Mita (plant-based Latin, 804 V Street NW).

And if you’re looking for wine to go with takeout from any of these options, buildout is now underway for the first Urban Grape store outside Boston. The award-winning, Black and woman-owned wine store highlights wine and spirits from makers of color and emphasizes a signature progressive scale that classifies wines from light- to full-bodied. DC’s Urban Grape, which will sponsor a scholarship for a Howard University student to expand their knowledge of the wine industry, will offer events and classes on site, in addition to tastings. The store, at 1301 Ninth Street NW, will open in January.